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Management of the TDC (Texas Department of Corrections) Population Past, Present and Future

NCJ Number
P Martinez
Date Published
21 pages
In analyzing the past, present, and future of the Texas prison population, this study assesses the capacity of the parole board to manage the prison population through parole release.
This study analyzed prison admissions and releases for 1979-1986 and parole releases over the same period. Texas has controlled the growth of the prison population over the last 4 years through the use of parole or early mandatory release. Up to January 1987, the prison population did not exceed the 95-percent cap. Through the middle of April, the prison population has exceeded the cap on a weekly basis. New efforts were undertaken to avoid the cessation of admissions, but they have not been successful. Parole remains the primary means of reducing the existing prison population. The present parole review procedures, however, are unlikely to produce the number of releases required. A simulation of the prison population for fiscal year 1987 indicates that the parole board alone cannot control the prison population during fiscal 1988, even if all offenders considered for parole are recommended for release. The solution to prison overcrowding and court compliance is overall orderly management of the criminal justice system statewide. 18 tables.